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Tag Archives: systemic racism

Every 36 hours, a black person is killed by a police officer


“Justice for Alan” poster. Part of Justice for Alan Blueford campaign in Oakland. (Photo Credit: IndyBay)

While the death of Trayvon Martin has largely fallen off the public radar, the killing of black people by police officers, security guards, or armed vigilantes continues unabated. On May 6, Alan Blueford, an 18-year-old African-American male who was about to graduate from Skyline High School, was shot three times by two Oakland police officers. Oakland police stopped and frisked Blueford and his two friends that night for drugs or weapons. Shortly after, Blueford ran and the police chased him. During the chase, police claim Blueford fired at them to which they responded with three shots. A fourth shot was fired into an officer’s foot, which police also claimed came from Blueford.

However, according to witnesses, investigators, and a coroner’s report, Blueford never shot at the police. There was a pistol found at the scene but it was never fired and it’s unclear whether it belonged to Blueford. In addition, Oakland Police Department (OPD) admitted that the fourth shot was a self-inflicted wound. One of the officer’s shot himself in the foot but initially blamed it on Blueford — a kid who never shot them. On the bright side, the Oakland community has shown their outrage at the killing in the form of robust activism. There is now a “Justice for Alan Blueford” campaign with support from Occupy Oakland.

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Trayvon Martin’s death and the need for alternatives to policing


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Fred Hampton, Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Kenneth Harding, Jr., the long list of African-American males killed by racist police officers or vigilantes goes on. On the evening of February 26, 2012, that list got longer. In Sanford, Florida, a suburb of Orlando, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American male, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a half-Latino/half-white self-appointed neighborhood watch captain. Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in self-defense. He was recently arrested, charged with second-degree murder, and the case is still in court.

Like so many cases of state or vigilante violence against people of color, this is an example of systemic racism. Systemic racism — a system of power and inequality in which one racial group subjugates another racial group. This is why there are massive levels of inequalities (in housing, employment, education, etc.) between whites Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Systematic Racism Still Exists


A few days ago, PolicyMic.com published my article on police brutality and systemic racism. Here it is below.

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People protested the killing of Oscar Grant and other acts of police brutality.

On New Year’s Eve 2009, Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old black male, was shot in Oakland, Calif., by white Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer Johannes Mehserle. Several people witnessed the shooting and it was caught on tape. The police claimed that Grant was resisting arrest and posed a danger to law enforcement. As the video shows, however, Grant was unarmed, lying on the ground, and restrained by another police officer when he was shot — posing very little danger to anyone.

The shooting sparked major public outcry within Oakland and the wider San Francisco Bay Area. Some of the protests turned violent and prompted a trial on Mehserle’s killing of Grant. The trial was eventually moved from Oakland to Los Angeles because of extensive public scrutiny. Mehserle faced three charges: second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. Mehserle’s primary defense was that he meant to pull out his taser, but accidentally pulled out his gun. The prosecution had to prove that Mehserle intentionally killed Grant, which is typically difficult to prove, especially when the defendant is a police officer. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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